SR1 (SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH)
Position: Community Agricultural & Food Science Director (1 position)
Pay: $45,000 – $60,000
Theme: Equity Projects in Education, Health, and Technology
FLSA: Full time, hourly, exempt
SR1 is an award winning educational 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Ridgeland, MS that strives to eliminate disparities in health, education, and technology through science and partnerships.
Join the SR1 Family as we help make Mississippi Healthier. SR1 is looking for a dedicated Community Agricultural & Food Science Directorthat can lead the SR1 team to develop and sustain the future of farming and local food production to eliminate food insecurity in Mississippi. This person will lead SRl’s health efforts by further enhancing our agricultural projects through research and development. The ideal applicant will have the knowledge and skills to research, plan, plant and maintain crops, collect farming data, and harvest plots in rotational crops. The Community Agricultural & Food Science Director will work closely with farmers with an emphasis on Black, Indigenous, and Hispanic farmers and other agricultural producers of color and K-12 students.
Administration Duties: The ideal candidate will expand the outreach potential of this department through social entrepreneurial skills, grant/contract writing skills, partnerships, evaluation, data entry, and report writing that aligns with SR1’s mission of eliminating educational, health and technology disparities.
The Community Agricultural & Food Science Director will also be responsible for supervising various staff, volunteers, and seasonal workers in improving crop yields for learning and ending food insecurity and enhancing food safety. The candidate will implement best organic practices to control pests and weeds and harvest crops. In addition, the Community Agricultural & Food Science Director will assist in product development, maintenance of laboratory equipment, and coordination of healthy food science cooking techniques. They will also be responsible for educating K-12 students about food safety, planting, and harvesting crops through project-based learning curriculums and short video lessons. The Community Agricultural & Food Science Director will also coordinate sensory evaluations with K-12 grade students and community members through food tastings and menu audits.
SR1’s Community Agricultural & Food Science Director will be responsible for the following: Overseeing our Beginner Farmer Project for Farmers of Color.
- Conduct research and experiments to improve the productivity and sustainability of field crops.
- Create and develop new and better ways to process, package, and deliver crops.
- Study the composition of soil as it relates to plant growth, and research ways to improve soil quality.
- Communicate research findings to the scientific community, food producers, and the general public.
- Travel between facilities to oversee the implementation of new projects.
- Help develop new agricultural projects.
- Develop a high level of farming cultural competencies.
- Establish and maintain local, national, and international public and private partnerships.
The Community Agricultural & Food Science Director must have an entrepreneurial spirit within the SR1 Team since this is a new project to expand. The emphasis of this position is research and innovation.
SR1’s Community Agricultural & Food Science Director will play an important role in:
- Maintaining and expanding central Mississippi’s food supply.
- Working in basic or applied research and development that seeks to understand the biological and chemical processes of crop growth and ways to improve the quality, quantity, and safety of agricultural products.
- Working with little supervision to form their own hypotheses and developing their research methods.
- Leading small teams of technicians or students who help in their research.
The ideal candidate is a self-motivated, effective communicator (oral and written), team-oriented leader, that has strong initiative and passion for horticulture and plant pathology while demonstrating excitement to lead agriculture efforts and engage the community.
- Bachelor’s Degree in agricultural science, biology, chemistry, or a related field plant science, horticulture, or related field.
- Minimum 2 years of experience in research in an agricultural related field.
- Assist in a wide array of activities in plant growth and product development.
- Understanding of all aspects of crop production and growing in protected environments such as greenhouses, hoop houses, etc.
- Experience with climate control software platforms.
- Understanding of safe work practices, tools, cleaning techniques, and personal protective equipment to meet food safety requirements.
- Experience with data collection, analysis, and documentation tools.
- Collaborative problem solver that can communicate well with other managers, team leads and associates.
- Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions.
- Ability to implement and manage multiple projects simultaneously.
- Excellent organizational skills, strong decision-making, and execution skills.
- Familiarity with MS Office Applications (Excel, Word, etc.). Ability to perform basic functions and updates to spreadsheets and word documents
- Must be able to lift up to 25 pounds and stand and/or walk for up to 8 hours daily, with or without reasonable accommodation.
- Comfortable working in a greenhouse environment with variable temperatures.
- Must have dependable transportation.
- Recruit, retain, and teach small, disadvantaged beginner farmers with emphasis on those that are traditionally underserved.
- Work with and educate K-12 students on agricultural subjects.
- Assist in planning and developing community gardens.
- Help eliminate food insecurities.
- Establish relationships with colleges, universities, and public and private businesses.
- Work with team to create website and digital marketing tools
- Research and use various community-supported agriculture efforts.
- Assistant in establishing an agricultural test bed and demonstration site
Yield & Quality
- Develop SR1’s agricultural department to demonstrate health equity.
- Oversee team to ensure that crops are checked daily.
- Maintain climate and growth factors in all stages of plant growth to meet production needs.
- Monitor and adjust irrigation, nutrients, lighting, and climate to minimize farm environment variation and optimize plant health and output.
- Direct plant health team on data collection, management, and analysis.
- Operate within food safety requirements.
- Work closely with facilities team to maintain proper growing environments for crops.
- Study and implement various growing methods such as no-till, organic, and hydroponics.
- Maintain crop schedule.
- Coordinate with production supervisor on crop issues, transplant times, and harvest dates.
- Communicate between growing, operations, sales, and distribution teams on schedule.
- Work to create and manage plant nutrition program.
- Scout for plant nutrition issues and apply solutions to any deficiencies.
- Create nutritious recipes – based on survey, lab results, target audience, and crop needs.
- Manage inventory (including seeds, garden supplies, etc.).
- Manage all horticultural inventory planning and ordering.
Food Safety Requirement
- Comply with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP)
THE WORK ENVIRONMENT
- The employee will be expected to work inside in a controlled indoors/greenhouse and growing atmosphere. You must be okay with handling high or low temperatures and wearing PPE every day to maintain high food safety and worker health standards.
- Be able to work Monday-Friday | Weekends and evenings as needed.
- For safety and security purposes, SR1 requires the selected applicant to consent to, complete, and pass required background checks. Failure to consent to, complete, and pass the background checks prior to the start date will result in the applicant not being hired.
- In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.
For consideration, email résumé and cover letter to: email@example.com. Résumé and cover letters should be addressed to: Human Resources, SR1, P.O. Box 2839, Ridgeland, Mississippi, 39158. No faxes will be accepted.
SR1 is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other protected category.